I am kaitco

a writer's log

Compensating Monday, December 13, 2010

I got through 1355 words yesterday and could have done more had I not turned on the sims, started watching “Coupling” on Netflix and then fell asleep randomly. I spent a lot of the day mixing Job 1 and Job 2 yesterday, obviously compensating for what I didn’t do the previous day.

I’m proud of the work I did and the research I managed to complete (Phillis Wheatley FTW!), but I am still a little bummed that I hadn’t found what book Damen would be reading at the end of the part I finished. I just wrote:

Listening to the murmurs coming from the same room, he read XX from the comfort of his hiding place for a while, when he looked up and saw Jessie Clarke staring

I had just gone on about Invisible Man for a while and would like to use it again, but Damen had just finished the book during the previous scene and it’s a little too on the nose to use Invisible Man when Damen’s…trying to be invisible. It just seems a little hackish.

Anyhoo, I’ve decided to name all the streets after Jane Austen characters (Willoughby Drive, Elliott Street, Dashwood Way) and the reason I remember this, other than the fact that it’s just so fun, is that I’ve created this “Damen reminders” sheet to help me keep things straight. I’ve got two separate files from the novel/chapter that include details about Anthony’s family and Damen’s upbringing as well as Angel’s story (which I’ve got some preliminary notes for, thought I haven’t decided if it will be it’s own novel yet), but the Reminders will be more of a quick reference than the others. The “damen-teachers” and “damen-books” files have grown far to long to remain any type of quick reference and I’ve decided to move fruitful conversations that I’ve just put at the end of “damen-books” until I find the proper place for them to the Reminders.

The thing is, I’ve got quite a few of these conversations, usually coloured dark red or blue, interspersed through several chapters, which makes me think that I should perhaps drop them altogether. I think it’s just a matter of determining whether the little talks between Damen and Brit are moving along the story.

I’ve also been seesawing with my decision to include the “I know what you’re thinking…” pieces for Angel, Anthony, Brit and Corey. I want to include them because Corey’s is very poignant and Angel’s gives the kind of insight into her that would be very long and difficult to explain since novel is a close 3rd on Damen. I have this inkling that Brit’s will be just a rant that’s almost my own words about being a black girl in America and Anthony’s will be just sound like a raving imbecile, which is how I see him at this point.

I don’t know how it popped into my head yesterday, but I imagined Anthony snatching away all Damen’s books and poetry by black authors; everything except Langston Hughes. I don’t bother going into Zora Neale Hurston since Damen and Brit will be reading her later, but somehow I see Hughes work as a little argumentative on the subject of being black. He’s like Malcolm X to Countee Cullen’s MLK and, while it often sounds beautiful, it annoys me. Also, at least at my school, black American literature is not even introduced until the Harlem Renaissance when we’re just doused with Hughes’ work and the teachers make it sound like blacks never wrote a darn thing prior to 1921 (Phillis Wheatley FTW!). Anyway, where I was going with this is that I’m beginning to dislike Anthony even more than when I first started this endeavour.

Two years ago, I imagined Anthony as having his flaws, but still having some good-naturedness to him. Nowadays, I’m about two steps from having him actually strike Angel to make him truly the most vile character in the novel, surpassing even Zach. I don’t know if it’s because I identify more and more with Damen as I continue, so it’s easier to hate Anthony or if I’m just venting my frustrations with so many black American men, but I there’s definitely more hostility in the prose when I write Anthony. Hopefully, all of this will work itself out when Damen later sees a functional mixed family (perhaps “art boy” will have an older white brother…), but for now, Anthony’s getting the third degree from me.

Perhaps all of this stems from reading about Roll of Thunder again. I haven’t read the book since I was in 7th or 8th grade, possibly even 6th, and I’ve included it as one that Kevin had read to Damen often. I suppose it’s just bringing home the point that despite any off hand remarks about blacks, Damen is not actually bigoted, but Anthony’s just an a**. What I can’t seem to get my mind around is why Angel finds the book dear to her. I came up with some info, but I still don’t know…

All right…time to make this day the success that yesterday was, though I must say, working Sundays is probably the worst thing in all the world.

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